Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

Wellman v. Salt Creek Valley Bank (In re Wellman)

Debtors appealed from the bankruptcy court's orders: (1) dismissing their chapter 13 case with prejudice; and (2) denying their motion to reconsider the order of dismissal. Appellee was a first lienholder on a parcel of unimproved land adjacent to debtors'residence.
Ruling: 
Dismissal of debtors'chapter 13 case was affirmed since a substantial deficit in plan payments showed the debtors had materially defaulted in performing under their plan's terms.
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Law v. Stover (In re Law)

Appellant debtors challenged orders of the bankruptcy court entered on June 27, 2005, and June 29, 2005, in each of these cases sustaining the objection of appellee, the chapter 7 trustee, to debtors'claim of exemption in the portions of their federal tax refunds attributable to the federal child tax credit.
Ruling: 
Debtors were denied exemption of their federal child tax credit refunds since the refunds were contingent interests in future payments and thus were estate property.
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Ozenne v. Bendon (In re Ozenne)

Pro se appellant bankruptcy debtor asserted that appellee landlord of the debtor's mini-storage unit sold the contents of the unit after the debtor filed his bankruptcy petition. The debtor appealed the order of the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, which denied the debtor's motion for sanctions under 11 U.S.C. § 362 for the landlord's willful violation of the automatic bankruptcy stay.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy panel reversed an order denying sanctions since the panel found that the landlord of the debtor's storage unit had willfully violated the automatic stay by selling the debtor's property after having notice of filing.
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U.S. Bank N.A. v. Young (In re Young)

Defendant debtor appealed from an order of the bankruptcy court granting several of plaintiff creditors'motions for summary judgment, wherein the creditors asserted that debtor was collaterally estopped by a guilty plea from arguing that he did not incur his obligations to them by way of fraud
Ruling: 
Debtor's lack of subject matter jurisdiction argument based on the debtor's status as a farmer was rejected since section 303(a) of the Code does not provide a jurisdictional challenge but rather an involuntary petition defense, one that the debtor waived by consenting to the petition.
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Bryant v. JCOR Mech. Inc. (In re Electron Corp.)

Defendant materialman appealed an order of the bankruptcy court that avoided as preferential a payment made by debtor within 90 days before debtor filed a proceeding under chapter 11. Plaintiff was the trustee of the debtor's estate.
Ruling: 
Payments were not preferential transfers since the materialman was a secured creditor in that the materialman would have been entitled to perfect a statutory lien had the materialman not been paid in full.
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Bennett & Fairshter LLP v. Stinky Love Inc. (In re Lacy)

Appellant law firm challenged an order and judgment from the bankruptcy court, which granted a motion by appellee creditor to implement the debtor's confirmed plan of reorganization, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1142, and disallowed the law firm's claim for attorneys'fees for postpetition, preconfirmation employment by the debtor.
Ruling: 
Order disallowing attorneys' fees was affirmed since the law firm's postpetition, preconfirmation employment had not been authorized.
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Cook v. Terlecky (In re Cook)

Appellee trustee and purchaser moved for approval of a compromise and settlement of state court litigation involving real property in which appellant debtor claimed an interest. The bankruptcy court granted the motion. The debtor appealed.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in approving a compromise and settlement of state court litigation involving sale of real property since no creditors objected to the sale and the sale was unlikely to be rescinded.
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Sallie Mae Servicing Corp. v. Ransom (In re Ransom)

Appellant, a student loan lender, sought review of a decision of the bankruptcy court, which determined that appellee debtor was not obligated under the confirmed chapter 13 plan to pay accrued interest charged by the lender as part of her student loan obligation.
Ruling: 
Panel rejected that a confirmed plan could preclude a student loan lender from recovering postpetition interest on a student loan debt and thus discharge the interest obligation without conducting an undue hardship hearing.
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Abboud v. Ground Round Inc. (Ground Round Inc.)

Appellee landlord commenced an adversary proceeding to determine appellant chapter 11 debtor's interest in a liquor license previously used in its operation of a restaurant at a leased premises. The bankruptcy court granted the landlord summary judgment, holding that the landlord was entitled to enforce a retransfer provision under the lease. The debtor appealed.
Ruling: 
Landlord was entitled to enforce a lease's retransfer of a liquor license provision, and the debtor's argument that the landlord had an alternative right of payment remedy available that constituted a dischargeable claim was rejected.
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Campbell v. Verizon Wireless S-CA (In re Campbell)

Appellant chapter 13 debtors objected to four proofs of claim. The bankruptcy court sua sponte held prove-up hearings and overruled the objections made under 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(1) that the proofs of claim lacked required documentation. The debtors appealed.
Ruling: 
Debtors'objections to four proofs of claim were rejected since debtors did not contest their liability and since lack of documentation was not sufficient grounds for disallowing the proofs of claim.
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